Company: CADTex is a New York-based company specializing in software and hardware distribution for apparel and textile makers.

CEO: Jaquim Notea, president, a former marketing specialist.

Software: Primavision, a specialized package for apparel and textile design.

Hardware: 486 with 16 MB of RAM, Epson scanners, Canon color printers.

Apparel & Home Technology: What is your relationship with Primavision?

Notea: We hooked up with Prima Design Systems in 1986, when we formed JN Computer. Prima Systems is based in Hong Kong, and we are the sole distributor for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. They have 30 distributors worldwide.

Has the market for CAD technology changed much since 1986?

I think so, but it has developed very slowly. Until very recently, apparel companies haven’t viewed CAD as a necessity. One would think, because we’re in a professional field, that people would be more aware of CAD, but that hasn’t been the case.

Still, I think that now more and more people are able to buy from color printouts. The sophisticated ones can do it easily, although some still believe they must feel the material before they buy it.

But basically, we deal with the same types of people today as we dealt with five years ago. It takes a lot of time to close a deal. People are very resistant to change.

You’ve disagreed with published studies that found that 50 percent of the apparel market is using CAD today. What’s your take on this?

It’s much lower than that. We have over 200 clients so far, so I think we’re in a position to know something about it. I would estimate that about 20 percent of apparel companies use CAD, and that 80 percent still don’t use it.

And even if a firm uses CAD, many times it has only one dedicated station with one operator. From what I’ve seen, many firms make the mistake of buying a high-end system and sending one person to a seminar and designat-

ing that person as the CAD operator. Everyone connected with the design process should know how to use the machine.

What are the primary benefits of today’s CAD systems?

The main ones are in merchandising, but the design benefits are amazing.

Let’s say the boss comes into the design room at 5 p.m. Friday and says, “Change it. I don’t like it.” The designer would have to start over, spending Friday evening and a good part of the weekend if he or she uses the old way.

Now you can simply go into the computer and change it, many times with the boss sitting right there.

But another advantage is that designs can be made early. That way, you can invite key clients in to look at the process. You can get a feel for what the buyers like, and they can have personal input into at least the private-label side of the business.

What limitations apply?

CAD systems still can’t do large color repeats any faster than the normal process. That applies with things like 48-inch repeats.

Also, the real advantage of CAD is the ability to view colorways of repeats. If it is only one original you are after, the computer doesn’t help. An intricate foulard paisley, for instance, will still be a lot of work.

Finally, I would caution that computers are made to do 80 percent of your work in 20 percent of the time. They’re not capable of doing every single thing out there for you, as the previous examples illustrate.

What developments can apparel makers expect in the near future?

Studios will soon be able to print their own samples on fabric in small quantities from designs done right on the computer. They can do it now, but it’s quite costly.

I also see a reduction of software prices.

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